Promote early literacy and reading check-ups
Interest in reading and literacy skill need to be nurtured and developed early in life. Cultivating interests in books and printed material constitute an enormous source of personal pleasure. It paves the way for lifelong commitment in learning. However, not every child has an easy journey on the way to literacy. As parent, you can help to inspire and nurture your child's reading ability by creating an enabling and relaxing environment. A solid understanding of your child's early development can help you to start the process early and make it an easy and pleasant activity that your child cherishes. Learning to read is a gradual process. A child as young as 6 months of age can begin to enjoy books. Let us help your child to start early with the right attitude and help your child to view books as his/her buddies rather than "burdens".
Our paediatrician will provide useful tips to guide you how best to promote early literacy for your child. During well child visit, we will assess and monitor your child's progress by performing the "Reading Checkups". "Reading Checkups" can help to evaluate your children's progress through six stages of reading development, from picture-pointing to independent reading. Each checkup describes the knowledge and skills that most children demonstrate at a given stage, and suggests how they can be nurtured and how fast they can progress to the next stage.
Six stages of reading ability:
- Infant to toddler
- Soon-to-Be Readers
- Beginning Readers
- Developing Readers
- Independent Readers
How to Nurture a Growing Reader
Reading doesn't just happen. It is a skill that must be nurtured from a child's earliest years. Once children know how to read, they still need gentle coaxing and support to reach their full potential as readers.
Tips for nurturing your growing readers:
- Read with your children at least once every day.
- Keep books and other reading materials in their reach and take them to the library regularly.
- Make sure there is variety of reading material for your child to choose.
- Help your children build a personal library. Designate a bookcase, shelf or box where your children can keep their books
- Notice what interests each child, then help find books about those things.
- Respect your children's choices. There's nothing wrong with series fiction if that's what keeps a young reader turning the pages.
- Praise your children's efforts and newly acquired skills.
- Check up on your children's progress. Listen to them read aloud, read what they write and ask teachers how they're doing in school.
- Go places and do things with your children to build their background knowledge and vocabulary, and to give them a basis for understanding what they read.
- Tell stories. It's a fun way to teach values, pass on family history and build your children's listening and thinking skills.
- Be a reading role model. Let your children see you read, and share some interesting things with them that you have read about in books, newspapers or magazines.
- Continue reading aloud to older children even after they have learned to read by themselves.
- Encourage writing along with reading. Ask children to sign their artwork, add to your shopping list, take messages and make their own books and cards as gifts.